You are reading Not only pedometer: now the heart is measured by a virtual coach


Not only pedometer: now the heart is measured by a virtual coach

February 5, 2019

Pedometers are already a past

The future is a virtual coach tailored to the physical and clinical characteristics of the patient and able to measure the heart. Effective in preventing cardiovascular events and improving health and quality of life, the new device is connected to a free app. It was presented by the PATH Campaign (Because Walking favours the reduction of cardiology), promoted by the Italian Society of Cardiology (SIC), with the patronage of the Italian Society of General Medicine (Simg) and the contribution of Menarini. We talked about it with Professor Daniela Lucini, Head of Medicine at Humanitas.


The app presented at the national congress of Italian cardiologists

Downloadable on smartphone, the new app was presented at the national congress SIC that was held in Rome just last January. Easy and intuitive, it indicates which type of exercise is most suitable for each subject but also the right recovery time between one session and another. From the number of steps to the pools in the pool, this device calibrates the physical activity on the real potential of the patient. In addition, it allows you to monitor your progress and also receive practical advice to optimize your physical activity.

“We know that sedentary lifestyle hurts, yet more than half of Italians do not move enough – said Giuseppe Mercuro, president of SIC – We also know that cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death and that physical exercise can reduce the risk as a drug, but the general advice to walk three times a week for at least 20 minutes is not enough to reduce the risk of vascular disease. To reverse the course is necessary to really consider physical activity a medicine and prescribe it as such, customizing the treatment and providing patients with a vademecum that guides them and informs them about directions, times, doses of movement.


The cold enemy of the heart: in winter it is important to choose the right physical activity

In winter, the risk of heart attack increases by up to 34% in those who are at risk of cardiovascular disease and make great physical efforts to freeze, especially in the early morning. The combination of cold and fatigue increases blood pressure and heart rate, further aggravating the risk of a heart attack. The cardiologists warned about the ‘dangerous’ relationship between low temperature and the risk of heart attack, on the occasion of the 79th National Congress of the Italian Society of Cardiology (SIC). In particularly cold winter days the danger grows, with intense cold that can tilt the heart in subjects at high cardiovascular risk, because the vasoconstriction from polar temperatures can cause the rupture of atherosclerotic plaques. And the risk of heart attack increases by 6 times even in the days following respiratory infections such as colds, coughs or flu, very common in winter. The mechanism responsible for increasing the risk of heart attack after intense cold exposure is linked to many factors, the most important of which is the effect of low temperature induced vasoconstriction. This is especially true in patients who are not in perfect health or have numerous cardiovascular risk factors, such as high cholesterol, hypertension, previous heart attacks. The possibility of a heart attack is also consistent, especially if you choose to do physical activity in the morning, between 6 and 10 am, when the probability of cardiovascular events is highest within 24 hours.


Exercise without risk

Physical inactivity is one of the most important coronary risk factors: it is estimated, in fact, that it is responsible for 5% of heart disease, 7% of type 2 diabetes, 9% of breast cancer and 10% of colon cancer, while movement is the cornerstone of cardiovascular well-being. That’s why the Italian Society of Cardiology (Sic) has decided to launch the ‘Path’ campaign with family doctors and the free app to outline a personalized program of activities. The new resource behaves like a very modern and personalized step counter, since walking is considered the mode of exercise that anyone can do, adapting it to their physical condition. The device allows you to enter a few but essential parameters: weight, height, heart rate and current diseases. From the data processing the patient can then know the number of daily steps to be taken 5 days a week at a rate of at least 100 steps per minute and for no less than 10 minutes continuously maintaining a level of moderate-intensive activity, equal to 40-60% of the heart rate reserve. To exercise without risk, it is also necessary to avoid smoking, especially in the 2 hours before the training session, not to perform physical activity if you find high blood pressure, more than 200 out of 110 mmHg. Avoid moving in the presence of fever, viral infections or weakness, adapt clothing, type and intensity of exercise to the environmental conditions, always provide a warm-up and cool-down phase, observe adequate hydration, avoid overexerting physical effort, avoid taking supplements whose content is not known, stop physical activity and consult your doctor in case of chest pain and avoid the hot shower in the 15 minutes following the interruption of exercise.

The opinion of Humanitas

“The two factors to be taken into account to understand what is the right cardiac effort to undergo are the measurement of the basic heart rate at rest and the maximum that is calculated with an Ecg under stress – said Lucini -. Related, along with age, state of health and present diseases, these two data are essential to give the patient a precise indication. Personally I do not yet know this new tool but I feel like saying that the relationship with the specialist must remain in the foreground if we want to perform physical activity safely.

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